The Gale Hill Radio Hour

Ep 3 - Navigating Life's Challenges, Lessons from Dolly, and "Smile"

November 24, 2021 Kate Jones
The Gale Hill Radio Hour
Ep 3 - Navigating Life's Challenges, Lessons from Dolly, and "Smile"
Show Notes Chapter Markers

An opportunity to travel internationally with a friend fell into Berenice Kleiman's lap, but before she even left the States, she took a literal fall at the Newark Airport. Rather than having that mishap ruin her vacation before it truly began, Berenice turned it into an opportunity to make new friends.

There's a certain alchemy in the way Berenice deals with life's challenges. She employs her natural curiosity and communication gifts to connect with others, often helping them with their own challenges.

She did this more than two decades ago when her husband, Herb, had a massive stroke. Two books came out of that terrible experience: One Stroke, Two Survivors: The Incredible Journey of Berenice and Herb Kleiman and Lessons Learned: Stroke Recovery From a Caregiver's Perspective.  Both of Berenice's stroke books are available to download for free on

When Herb passed away in April 2020, Berenice wrote another book, this time to help newly widowed seniors navigate this next phase of their lives. Widowhood 101: Next Steps is available on Amazon. As she explains it,  the handbook is her way of "trying to share what I had to learn the hard way, and figuring out what comes next."

Speaking of figuring things out, Berenice wants her next project to involve harnessing the talents of senior citizens. As she explains, "This is an unmet need: to value our seniors and what they have to offer."

She welcomes ideas. You can send an email to

Starting at 34 minutes, 36 seconds, you can listen to Kate's short essay, "Lessons from Dolly."  It was initially prompted by an article in Allure magazine, in which Dolly Parton fondly remembers her friend and mentor, Chet Atkins, even though Dolly didn't take his advice many years ago when she was just starting out in her performing career. No matter, she's a great success doing things her way, and that is a good lesson in being authentic to oneself.

Kate also talks about the important lessons she learned from another Dolly, who she knew personally. This Dolly was Kate's mom, who maintained her quirky sense of humor and her kindness toward others no matter what life threw at her.

Great lessons indeed.

Rounding out this episode is a song titled “Smile,” recorded by Akron, Ohio-based artists Aaron Hymes of Entertaining Angels, Flames O’God and Marjorie Tyson at Area 67 Recording Studio. Enjoy.

Lessons from Dolly